Nerdlocker Movie Review: Ready Player One


For decades Steven Spielberg has shaped pop culture and now he’s brought to life the shrine for it with Ready Player One. As I think about it there probably isn’t a more perfect person to helm this project being that half the easter eggs are from his movies, his friend Robert Zemeckis’ movies, or his other friend’s, the late great Stanley Kubrick. Hell, Spielberg himself is apart of the main pop vein.

What could have easily turned into one giant mess of indiscernible computer effects with an incoherent story to top it all off ended up being a return to classic 80’s and 90’s form for Spielberg. The magic of watching the T-Rex first appear and the DeLorean roaring to life and countless other moments of pop brilliance all have a special place in the hearts of those that relive them on a constant basis. This is one giant two and half hour extravaganza packed to the brim with more references than you could shake a stick at and more spectacle than most blockbusters combined. And even though there are so many exciting sequences the story is still allowed to play out.

To drive these dream machines and find these keys to our nerdy hearts we have a stellar cast lead by relative newcomer but still familiar face, Tye Sheridan whose resume is already well established in pop culture nerdom. Olivia Cooke is his right hand woman who is having a stellar few years with the endearing indie Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the titillating Thoroughbreds and now of course Ready Player One. As much fun as this movie is the heart of it all lies in the performance of the always enchanting Mark Rylance. He is equal parts shy and commanding as the creator of the virtual world being fought over, the OASIS. His quiet demeanor as Halliday hints at a painful past he’s trying to lose in his creation. As with his characters in Bridge of Spies and The BFG, Rylance is nothing short of iconic and captivating as always. He truly is a brilliant talent and I look forward to any project that man attaches himself to.

This world of virtual impossibilities brought to life is a major target for corruption as the creator made a world for imagination, outside forces want it for monetary and political gain. This is where the villains come into play. Ben Mendelsohn plays a somewhat typical but no less entertaining bad guy who is determined beyond reasoning to gain that which does not belong to him. And his goal should he obtain his prize is to ruin that which was once pure and amazing. Advertising overload is one aspect of the movie that rings a little bit too true for comfort. Greed it would seem is insurmountable and ever present.

As you may have already read this is in fact one giant melting pot of nostalgia and while it revels in it, it never feels like it’s too much. Don’t misunderstand, there is enough nostalgic schtick to make your head explode a thousand times over but it all feels like it has its place. There is an order to the chaos and it is a non-stop ride of amazing spectacle and reminiscing that will almost force you to see it all again just to recapture the feeling of warm fuzzies when you see a movie this grandiose.

I can’t say this enough, I loved this movie. It is pure cinematic fun and fully shines because of it. There is a heart but it never overwhelms the frivolity of losing oneself in video games, more accurately virtual reality. Granted we only have a fraction of the OASIS and its capabilities I was still no less transported to another world as I robbed a bank on a PS4 with virtual headgear. It was immersive and breathtaking and the OASIS is one big exploration into the idea of this technology becoming the forefront of game based entertainment. I can’t wait to watch Ready Player One again and again as the very movie itself inevitably becomes a pop culture icon all its own. Summer movie season is here early and it’s starting off with a bang.

Rated PG-13 For: sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language
Runtime: 140 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4.5/ Acting: 4.5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard